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Jack London with Call of the Wild

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London’s Childhood
•Born in 1876 in San Francisco,
California
•Raised by mother, Flora Wellman,
and stepfather, John London
•Childhood marked by poverty &
unhappiness
London at age 8
with dog Rollo
London as a
school boy
• Became an avid reader at age
10 when an Oakland librarian
encouraged him to escape his
life of poverty through
reading.
• Bought his first sailboat at
age 12—loved to sail.
Youth—Adventure/Responsibility
•Dropped out of school at age 14 & had
series of low-paying jobs:
Seaman
sweatshop
freight train hobo
delivered papers
worked in cannery
cleaned local saloon
•Loved to listen to stories about the
California Gold Rush of 1849
Forming Ideas/Attitudes
•Experiences that shaped London’s life and attitudes:
-oyster pirate
-seal hunter in the North Pacific
-1894—arrested & jailed in Niagara Falls for vagrancy
-adopted socialistic views
•Educated self by reading in public library
•Attended University of California at Berkeley
•Left school after 1 year to seek his fortune in gold
fields
Adventure
• Traveled to Klondike Gold Rush in
1897
• Spent one winter at Split-Up Island,
near the Stewart River
• Did not find gold; had a wealth of
experiences he would later use to
write stories and books
• Returned home to support himself
and his family by publishing his
writing
Gold
DISCOVERED
in the
Yukon
Jack London outfitted
to travel to the gold
fields of the Klondike
Gold Rush
Photo actually taken in at
Truckee, CA.
http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/London
Adult Life
• An avid
sailor—
loved his
boat, the
Snark
http://www.parks.sonoma.net/JLStory.html
http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/Lon
don/jack.html
Aboard the Snark with friends
•Bess Maddern—London’s first
wife
•Becky and Joan London—
http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/London/
London’s daughters
Images/
Charmian London
Jack London’s second wife
http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/London/Images
London owned and loved a ranch in
Sonoma Valley
London’s Directions to his
ranch at Glen Ellen
“Next to my wife,
the ranch is
the dearest thing
in the world
to me.”
Jack London
The Londons at home
“..he was mighty good to us,
and there never was a man
who came here who went
away hungry.”
Ranch workman
http://www.parks.sonoma.net/JLStory.html
London—the Author
• Began avidly writing in 1897
• He commonly spent 15 hours
a day writing
• Daily quota of 1000 written
words a day
• Became recognized as a
talented & successful writer
http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/London/Images
Jack London wrote 50 books and
1,000 articles between 1899 and
1916.
“The greatest story
London ever told was
the story he lived.”
Alfred Kazin
Literary critic
http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/London/Images
“By 1916, London was the
highest-paid writer in the
country and the most widely
read American author in the
world.”
http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/London
The Londons several weeks prior to his
death
•Jack London died on November
22, 1916 at the age of 40. He had
kidney failure.
http://www.homestead.com/wolf29/wolves.html
Title: The Call of the Wild
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Setting: Late 1800’s,
Klondike gold rush
The Call of the Wild
He was paid three cents
per word for the story,
which he had shortened
by 5,000 words.
London received
a total of
$2,750.00
for his work.
The book has never been out
of print during the last one
hundred years.
http://www.parks.sonoma.net/JLPark.html
“The Call of the Wild is the
greatest dog story ever
written…”
Carl Sandburg
From the time The Call of the
Wild caught the imagination of
the world in 1903, until his
death by a stroke and heart
attack in 1916,
his 51 books, hundreds of short
stories, essays and other
writings had more newspaper
coverage than any other writer.
http://www.parks.sonoma.net/JLPark.html
“I have everything to
make me glad I am alive.
I am filled with dreams
and mysteries.”
Jack London
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